Start Germany Friedrich Merz

Friedrich Merz

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The candidate for the CDU chairmanship Merz is heavily criticized because of its tasks in the economy. Now he has denied conflicts of interest. He condemned stock deals like cum-ex as „completely immoral.“

Criticism in connection with activities in the finance industry is the candidate for the CDU party chairmanship, Friedrich Merz, opposed. He condemned tax tricks at the expense of the state treasury. „Stock deals like Cum-Ex and Cum-Cum ultimately serve to exempt taxpayers,“ said the former Union faction chief of the „Süddeutsche Zeitung“. Such deals are „completely immoral,“ regardless of the legal rating. „I have always believed in this opinion and have always expressed it.“

In dubious cum-ex-tax transactions had been deceived by a shuffling of shares EU-wide tax offices. They refunded billions of dollars in taxes that were never paid.

The anti-corruption organization Transparency Germany had previously expressed criticism over Merz. „Merz will have to explain to the members of the CDU, as he has engaged in his various functions in the financial industry for a socially responsible action of its clients – such as the supervisory board of the private bank HSBC Germany, which was involved in cum-ex-business,“ said Transparency Chairman Edda Müller. „He has to show how he wants to use these experiences for a welfare-oriented policy.“

Merz has worked in a law firm since retiring from politics and holds several mandates with companies. He is chairman of the board of the asset manager Blackrock Germany and a member of the HSBC supervisory board.

The newspaper quotes supervisory board circles, according to which the control committee of HSBC Germany with the topic was regularly concerned, since the prosecutor’s office Duesseldorf 2016 took up investigations. A spokesman for the bank told the newspaper: „HSBC Germany has not been consciously involved in such deals.“ It is about a „small double-digit million amount“ of tax credits in question from the years 2005 to 2011. Thus, the bank would not be one of the main players in the Cum-Ex scandal.
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In Germany Blackrock is involved according to data of the financial supervision Bafin to at least 67 public companies. According to the Association of DSW, the financial group is the largest single shareholder in 20 of the 30 DAX companies, and holds more than five percent of the 19 DAX companies.